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Forum topic by D11RDozer posted 12-06-2011 10:52 PM 1034 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 2924 days

12-06-2011 10:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: design frame-and-panel

I’m working on building a mudroom bench for my wife and I’ve come to a point in the design where I’m unsure what to do.

The piece is based on the following two similar plans:

I’m trying to merge the designs taking the basic features from the first bench (open shoe shelf and drawers) and the frame-and-panel look from the second.

My question is in regard to the drawer box top (horizontal area above the drawers) and the underside of the very top piece. How should these components be constructed? Frame-and-panel or solid panel?

I’m concerned about both the aesthetics and wood movement.

Wood movement is easier to manage with frame-and-panel, but would it look right on the horizontal surfaces that butt into other frame-and-panel assemblies?

Solid wood visually matches the seating surface, but wood movement becomes an issue in joining the piece to the rest of the upper assembly.

I haven’t been able to find pictures or plans for an existing piece that addresses this problem so I turn it over to the community for help.

Thanks in advance,

5 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2815 days

#1 posted 12-07-2011 01:36 AM

Greetings Dave—

I don’t think you have a problem here, provided your case sides are solid stock as well. The “upper” sides and top and bottom and top of the drawer section can be glued right together and when there’s movement, all will move and nothing will come apart.

You will want to be mindful of attaching the upper to the lower, but you sound like a mindful kind of guy so there’s no concern there.

Frame and panels are rarely seen as tops because a top (as on a blanket chest) is free to move. And the second reason is that horizontal panels are not easy to keep clean.

Clear the benches! Start your table saw!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3529 days

#2 posted 12-07-2011 02:01 AM

Dave I agree with Lee, make the drawer top solid and account for the movement.
How deep are the drawers? 6” 8”? You may not have much to be concerned about.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View DS's profile


2894 posts in 2385 days

#3 posted 12-07-2011 02:19 AM

In the first photo, except for the crown, front face frame and the furniture base, that entire cabinet is made of oak plywood. (Notice the matched veneers) This nullifies the movement issue.

If I were building this for myself, the end panels would be frame and panel, like the second piece, but the top and bottoms of my piece (including the drawer top) is plywood. I even do the arts and crafts legs to the floor instead of the furniture base.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View grumpy749's profile


228 posts in 2342 days

#4 posted 12-07-2011 02:26 AM

Or you could use oak plywood and edge it. there is no movement there.

-- Denis in Grande Prairie. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mistery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.....Pink !

View D11RDozer's profile


62 posts in 2924 days

#5 posted 12-07-2011 10:59 PM

Perhaps I should clarify my question. I’m not trying to decide between the two plans or the material. I have already decided on the frame and panel design with solid wood using QSWO left over from another project. The base section is already completed. Now I’m moving on to the upper section and the sticking point is how to incorporate the drawers into the frame and panel upper assembly. With the plywood unit it would be simple to just dado in a banded plywood piece. But with solid wood, I’m not sure which would be better, a solid piece or yet another frame and panel assembly. The solid piece obviously would need to be installed allowing for movement (directed to the back). My thinking is that this would result in better visual balance. The closest examples I can find are frame and panel bookcases, but the shelves are typically free floating in that case.

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